Broken Idler Pulley Bolt...

Lincoln LS

  1. GreyWisent

    GreyWisent Active LVC Member

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    Is that a thing or am I a combination of the dumbest and most unluckiest m*** here?

    In my never-ending cooling system plus plus replacement saga, I decided to also change my belt idler pulley and tensioner pulley because they were cheap and I was already there. Was about to call it a night, but I figured I'd take those bolts off.

    Idler bolt turned with some difficulty increasing and decreasing until, after some Pb blasting, I was finally able to remove it... HALF of it.
    I think, in my rush, I pulled up on the wrench with one arm, without stabilizing the socket and ended up putting an upward force on the bolt. The thing is clearly bent. But it looks like it can hold a bridge up!

    Either that or there was some nasty corrosion that I couldn't see. Doesn't look like I can grab the bolt. I'll try all the tricks in the book, and hopefully I can at least drill it out.

    I speculate that it may have also bent during service, since it's the only thing holding that ilder in place. Have any of you heard of this before?

    I have 4 questions now:

    1. Why god, why?

    2. If I can't remove or drill it out what's left of the bolt in place, I will have to remove the generator (alternator) bracket. Does anyone have any experience with this? Does the generator have to come all the way out for this? I understand that removing that thing is a nightmare of its own.

    3. What is the generator bracket made out of? If it's aluminum, and the bolt has bent, then there is probably damage to the threads too.

    4. What does the belt tensioner bolt into? I'd still like to remove that, but I would like to know what I'm getting into, before a repeat of what happened last night. How likely am I to have a repeat of this with the tensioner?


    Thanks for your continued support.


    '03 V8
     
  2. AmsterDutch

    AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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    First I want to say broken bolts are a PITA no matter how you look at them and I feel your pain...Second thing I will say is you need to purchase a torch asap because like Minne-SNOW-ta Canada has a real winter and all our bolts like to galvanize and a torch is the trick to replacing rusted metal due to the liquid rust our governments use now on the road ...The plow trucks just spray this new chemical on the road now and I cringe when thinking about replacing tie rods and endlinks so yes the ultimate tool in any Northerners tool chest should be a good torch and lots of PB Blaster or WD40 ....I sprayed PB Blaster on a O2 Sensor generously last weekend and let it sit overnight and it still didn't budge ...heated it with a torch and it came out smooth as silk...I'm thinking since you may have to take out the alternator just replace it with new... I'm sure you can drill out the bolt and then tap it out so the new bolt will go in the hole... just make sure you keep with proper measurement when it comes to the drill bit...be patient and drill straight...good luck!
     
  3. GreyWisent

    GreyWisent Active LVC Member

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    Thanks for the empathy and encouragement!
    I have a torch, but I must confess, I'm not very good with it and I usually avoid it, except as a last resort. Would not have helped here since I would have burned the pulley off while getting at the bolt, BUT it will probably come in handy now. That's good information to know that often times it does the trick when penetrating oil doesn't.

    What's the best way to shield surrounding heat sensitive equipment? Is aluminum foil enough?

    I had the same thoughts about a new alternator, but I want to see if this thing still works before dumping more money into it. The last time I changed an alternator, the generator wire bolt broke on me (galvanised nut) and I foresee that risk here too.
     
  4. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    • GreyWisent

      GreyWisent Active LVC Member

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      I ended up wrapping everything in aluminum foil, with multiple layers in the "direct splash zone".

      Unfortunately heat didn't do much of anything. I'm not sure if it's because I can't get the bolt and hole hot enough, or the heat dissipates too quickly. After all, the whole assembly is directly connected to a couple of hundred pounds of aluminum heat buffer, and aluminum is so great at dissipating heat quickly. My POS infrared thermometer broke just as I started, so I couldn't even get a good reading.

      I went at it with multiple pairs of large vise-grips as well as with a chisel, attempting to chase the bolt around a in a circle. Didn't budge AT ALL. Went from a fairly clean break (with at least one loop of thread exposed to an amorphous conical thing that I can't grip with anything.

      Given that the pulley was clearly an aftermarket part and the amount of force I needed to put into it to loosen the bolt (probably close to 100-120lbs, which is 3x the spec), I strongly suspect some caveman mechanic just gave 'er so it doesn't go anywhere, and in doing so compressed the aluminum threads of the mount. Because, "hey, torque wrenches are for losers; I can tell torque with my experienced hands and it's aluminum's fault that it's soft". (Or perhaps it was two generations of dumbos and the second was forced into over-tightening it.)

      Warning to the reader: if you have an aftermarket pulley that's not giving you trouble yet, consider leaving it alone if you don't know who installed it.

      Anyway... I don't have access to a welder, otherwise I would have welded a nut onto the remaining bolt already. Not sure it would have helped though, considering how jammed up the bolt is.
      Next step is to grind the bolt flat so I can drill it. I have some 90 degree drill adapters, but I'm not sure they'll fit with the length of the drill and all. I will probably have to remove the fan, which was a PITA the last time I did it, but I believe will be infinitely simpler now that all the plumbing is out of the way.

      One challenge is drilling straight. Even though I have a reverse set of drill bits, I strongly doubt that catching the bolt and turning it will be enough, so I will probably need to drill the way through. Starting the bolt in the center is simple enough with a punch, but keeping it straight is another story; and recentering a hole is close to impossible...
      I'd like to invest in something like this "QuikCenter kit", but I can't find them anywhere:


      Does anyone know of any alternatives that work when the bolt is slightly protruding from the hole? I don't have access to a drill press, otherwise I'd make my own with some nuts and bolts.

      P.S. I'll try going at it with a screw extractor set, but I doubt I'll have much luck.
       
    • GreyWisent

      GreyWisent Active LVC Member

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      Also, for anyone looking, the p/n for the alternator/generator bracket marked as 10A313 in the manual for Gen 2 is:
      2W9Z-10A313-CA
      (Some anecdotal evidence - pictures on eBay - leads me to believe that Gen 1 is different)

      That will be my last resort, depending how much I mess up the drilling operation.
       
    • AmsterDutch

      AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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      Well I will give you an A+ for effort but I guess I should've been more clear when talking about the torch ... I meant use a torch before you go at removing a bolt .... It would be damn near impossible to use a torch after the bolt has snapped and yes I would do just that .... Remove fan grind down flat what's left of the bolt and drill the bolt out ...then with ratchet or if you're like me take a torque driver and tap hole for new bolt but like I said keep true to the drill bit size when you drill hole and tap hole so it matches the hole
       
    • GreyWisent

      GreyWisent Active LVC Member

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      There's no "A" in effort, let alone an "A+"... :D but thank you.

      Also, to any readers, I have two 90 degree elbow drill adapters (one Dewalt, one Milescraft). They both suck and can't be used in this situation, as they have about 3-5 degrees of play and vibration, which add up to about 5mm at the drill end. Waste of money.
       

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